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Top 12 Best Family Cars to Buy in 2024 | Compare the Best

Top 12 Best Family Cars to Buy in 2024 | Compare the Best

What are the best family cars to buy in 2024? When it comes to choosing family cars, there are several factors to consider. Some of these factors are practicality, low running costs and of course reliability.

Then buyers also need to consider what car type would be best. Family hatchbacks come with really good fuel economy but if you need large passenger and cargo space, you may need to consider a family SUV.

What Makes The Perfect Family Car?

Before diving in, we need to take a good look at what the perfect family car is. The perfect selection actually varies from family to family based on preference, but you just need to focus on one that meets your and your family’s needs.

What is most important to you? Cost? Safety? Space? Fuel economy? Find out and it will help you find one that is just right for you. You can also consider how much it costs to insure the vehicle. Take time to do as much research (including getting car history reports) and inspection as possible to avoid making mistakes and buying the wrong vehicle.

Now let’s take a look at the top 12 best family cars to buy in 2024.

Best Family Cars of 2024

Skoda Octavia

Skoda Octavia

This wagon offers tons of space for people and cargo, perfect for growing families. It has tech features and various engine options (gas, diesel, hybrid) to fit your budget and driving style.

Here’s why it stands out as one of the best cars for families:

  • Spacious Interior: The Octavia offers generous legroom for both front and rear passengers. Families can comfortably fit in car seats, booster seats, and luggage.
  • Boot Capacity: With a 600-liter boot capacity, the Octavia excels in cargo space. Whether it’s groceries, sports gear, or family vacation luggage, the Octavia can handle it.
  • Efficient Engines: The Octavia comes with a range of petrol, diesel, and hybrid powertrains. Families can choose an engine that suits their driving needs and fuel efficiency preferences.
  • Safety Features: Skoda prioritizes safety, equipping the Octavia with advanced safety systems such as collision avoidance, lane-keeping assist, and multiple airbags.

Comfort and Ride Quality: The Octavia provides a smooth ride, making family trips enjoyable even on longer journeys.

Honda Civic

Honda Civic

Another practical family car is the Honda Civic. Small, reliable, fuel-efficient, and surprisingly roomy for its size, the Civic is a great pick for budget-minded families. It’s known for fun driving and comes loaded with safety features.

Here are some special features:

  • Hybrid Technology: The Civic offers a 2.0 eHEV engine, providing a balance of performance and fuel efficiency.
  • Comfortable Interior: Families will appreciate the comfortable seats and well-designed cabin. The Civic’s interior materials are of good quality.

  • Safety: Honda prioritizes safety, including features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking.
  • Reliability: The Civic has a strong reputation for reliability, which is essential for family vehicles.
  • Compact Size: While not as spacious as an SUV, the Civic’s compact size makes it easy to maneuver in urban areas.

Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf

This classic hatchback delivers a comfortable ride with top safety scores and driver assistance tech. While cargo space might be a bit less than the Octavia, it’s still functional for families. Choose from various engines, including a hybrid option.

Features of the Volkswagen Golf are:

  • Timeless Design: The Golf’s design is timeless and appeals to a wide range of buyers.
  • Interior Quality: Volkswagen pays attention to interior details, resulting in a comfortable and well-built cabin.
  • Advanced Infotainment: The Golf features a user-friendly infotainment system with smartphone integration.
  • Safety: Like other family cars, the Golf includes safety features such as automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring.

Variety of Engines: Families can choose from petrol, diesel, and hybrid engines to suit their preferences.

Best Used Family Cars | Best Family Cars 2024

Finding a used car that fits your family’s needs can be a smart way to save money. Here’s a look at our top picks, three best used family cars:

BMW 3 Series

Known for its sporty handling and luxurious interior (for a used car), the 3 Series might be a good fit for families who prioritize a fun driving experience. However, prioritize newer car models with good service history as repairs can be expensive. Be aware that cargo space might be limited compared to other options.

Features of the BMW 3 Series are:

  • Athletic Handling: The 3 Series offers truly entertaining handling, especially in ST-Line trim. It’s one of the best driver’s cars in its class.
  • Comfort and Space: Despite its sporty nature, the Focus rides comfortably and is roomy inside. Rear seats provide ample space for passengers.
  • Well-Equipped: The Focus comes well-equipped with modern features, including infotainment and safety technologies.
  • Quiet and Refined: The cabin is quiet on the move, making it pleasant for daily driving.
  • Room for Improvement: The interior quality could be better, and the price is relatively high compared to some rivals.
  • Engine Options: Choose from various engines, including petrol and hybrid variants.

Ford Focus

Ford Focus

A reliable and practical option, the Focus offers a comfortable ride and decent cargo space. It’s known for being fuel-efficient and easy to maintain, making it a budget-friendly choice. However, some older models might have less advanced safety features compared to newer competitors.

Here are some features of the Ford Focus estate car:

  • Fun Handling: The Focus excels in handling, making it enjoyable to drive.
  • Interior Improvements: Ford has worked on interior quality, legroom, and boot space.
  • Variants: There’s a wide range of variants, including the rugged Active version with SUV-inspired styling.
  • Rivals: Competitors include the Kia Ceed, Seat Leon, Vauxhall Astra, and VW Golf.

Price Range: While the base models are affordable, top-end versions compete with Audi A3, BMW 1 Series, and Mercedes A-Class.

Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall Astra

This versatile family hatchback provides a good balance of space, comfort, and affordability. It offers a user-friendly driving experience and decent fuel economy. However, interior quality might not be as high as some competitors, and safety features might vary depending on the model year.

Here are some features of the Vauxhall Astra:

  • Cavernous Interior: Despite lacking SUV appeal, the Astra’s sleek body hides a spacious interior comparable to upmarket models.
  • Standard Kit: Regardless of trim level, the Astra comes with touchscreen infotainment and seamless phone connectivity.
  • Smooth Ride: Supple suspension and hushed refinement make it relaxing for long journeys.
  • Engine Options: Choose from frugal and refined diesels or the turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol for an easy-going character.
  • Hot GSi Variant: For speed enthusiasts, the GSi delivers surprising performance.

Electric Family Cars

The electric car revolution is reaching families! Fully electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and others. Here’s a look at three standout options for eco-conscious families:

Audi Q4 e-tron

Audi Q4 e-tron

This luxurious SUV boasts a spacious and comfortable interior, perfect for long family trips. With impressive range and fast-charging capabilities, it tackles range anxiety.  However, the e-tron comes at a premium price point.

Key Features:

  • Battery and Range: The Q4 e-tron comes with a 77 kWh battery pack (usable capacity) and offers a range of around 250 miles (approximately 402 km) on a single charge.
  • Performance: It features a 204 bhp rear-drive motor, providing seamless acceleration.
  • Price: The entry-level Q4 e-tron starts at just over £40,000.
  • Extras: Loaded with digital displays, LED lighting, and driver assistance features.

Note: The Q4 e-tron is available in various trims, including an all-wheel-drive version.

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

This all-electric family crossover offers a combination of sleek design, cutting-edge technology, and impressive performance.  With ample cargo space and a spacious cabin, it caters well to families.  However, Tesla’s service network might not be as extensive as traditional carmakers, and some might find the minimalist interior design lacking in physical buttons.

Features of the Tesla Model Y

  • Battery and Range: The Model Y offers different battery options, with the Long Range version having a 75 kWh battery and a range of up to 326 miles (approximately 525 km) on a single charge.
  • Performance: Tesla’s electric powertrain delivers impressive acceleration and handling.
  • Price: The Model Y’s pricing varies based on trim levels and options.

Extras: Tesla’s Autopilot features and over-the-air software updates.

Skoda Enyaq iV

Skoda Enyaq iV​

This practical SUV offers a compelling blend of functionality, affordability, and range.  Boasting a spacious interior and generous cargo capacity, it excels at family hauling.  While it might not have the performance edge of the Tesla or the luxury feel of the Audi, it delivers good value for the price.

Features of the Skoda Enyaq iV

  • Battery and Range: Like the Q4 e-tron, the Enyaq iV has a 77 kWh battery pack and offers a similar range of around 250 miles (approximately 402 km) on a single charge.
  • Performance: Equipped with a 204 bhp motor, it provides a comfortable driving experience.
  • Price: The entry-level Enyaq iV is priced around £8,000 less than the Q4 e-tron.

Extras: Features digital displays, LED lighting, and driver assistance systems.

SUVs for Families

Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai Santa Fe

This value-packed SUV has a really spacious interior with up to seven seats, making it an ideal choice for growing families. It delivers impressive fuel economy for its size, keeping trips to the soccer field or vacations more budget-friendly. The interior is well designed, equipped with user-friendly technology, and comfortable.

Features of the Hyundai Santa Fe

  • Seating Capacity: The Santa Fe can accommodate 6 to 7 passengers, making it a great choice for larger families.
  • Cargo Space: It offers a generous cargo space of 79.6 cubic feet (approximately 2,257 liters) to carry all your family gear.
  • Engine Options: The Santa Fe comes with a 277-horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine.
  • Fuel Efficiency: It delivers an average of 19-20 MPG in the city and 26-29 MPG on the highway.
  • Comfort: Taller drivers and front passengers will appreciate the ample headroom and legroom.
  • Handling: Its smaller turning radius allows for easy maneuvering in tight spots.
  • Price: The Santa Fe is competitively priced, making it a budget-friendly option.

Volvo XC90

Volvo XC90

The Volvo XC90 is widely known for its safety features and high safety ratings. It comes loaded with advanced driver-assistance features which makes driving easier and safer.  Every passenger enjoys a luxurious and comfortable ride, with lots of legroom and headroom throughout the cabin.

This SUV also has large passenger and cargo space, making it perfect for families who need space for belongings.  The downside? The XC90 comes with a premium price tag and might be less fuel-efficient compared to some competitors.

Features of the Volvo XC90

  • Seating Capacity: The XC90 is a premium SUV with seating for 7 passengers.
  • Cargo Space: While not as spacious as the Santa Fe, it still offers decent cargo room.
  • Design: The XC90 has remained largely unchanged for nearly a decade, which speaks to its timeless design and reliability.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Specific MPG figures are not available, but it strikes a balance between luxury and practicality.
  • Premium Credentials: The XC90 competes well against other premium SUVs.
  • Handling: It provides a comfortable ride and good handling.

Price: Expect a higher price point compared to the Santa Fe.

Land Rover Discovery Sport

Land Rover Discovery Sport

When it comes to the Land Rover Discovery Sport you can expect impressive off-road capabilities, allowing you to explore rough roads with ease.  The Discovery Sport makes a great family car and offers a unique and stylish design that stands out from the crowd.  

While a third-row seating option exists, it’s best suited for occasional use.  The Land Rover ownership experience might be less reliable compared to the others, and fuel efficiency isn’t its strong suit.

  • Seating Capacity: Like the Santa Fe, the Discovery Sport can seat 7 passengers.
  • Cargo Space: It offers 55.6 cubic feet (approximately 1,577 liters) of cargo space.
  • Engine Options: The Discovery Sport features a 246-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Specific MPG figures are not available, but it’s slightly less efficient than the Santa Fe.
  • Off-Road Capability: Land Rover’s DNA ensures good off-road performance.
  • Handling: It’s a lovely car to drive, but not the cheapest option in its class.
  • Towing Capacity: Similar to the Santa Fe, it can handle towing needs.
  • Max Range: The Discovery Sport offers a maximum range of 494 miles on the highway

Factors to consider when buying a family car


This is usually one of the most important factors to consider and keep in mind. You need to have enough space for you, your family, and any other belongings you would have in the vehicle on a regular basis, baby seats for example.

Note that larger cars may be more expensive than small cars but it’s worth it if you want to keep your family comfortable.


Another important factor to consider in choosing the best family car is safety. How safe is driving the car? How safe will your family be while on the road? Most cars come with the safety ratings clearly listed on the window stickers or other documents. So it should be easy to check and verify.


Since we’re talking about safety, let’s also remember to look out for reliability. You don’t want a car that breaks down and needs repair often. The higher the reliability, the lower the chances of downtime and repairs. New car buyers don’t need to worry about this factor but used car buyers need to take more precautions here.

One easy way to verify the reliability of a used car is to get a reg number check. Smart Car Check provides a simple and accurate tool that can generate car history reports based on the past records of any car.

With a report, any car buyer can check ownership records, MOT history, alerts, and other hidden records.


The next factor to consider is the budget. The budget is extremely important as you need to make sure you can afford the car. Remember that your budget shouldn’t be based on the upfront price of the car only. Also consider the total costs of ownership including the fuel costs, insurance, repair, and others.

Consider maintenance and other expenses. Avoid buying a vehicle you cannot afford to drive long-term.


How well does the car fit into your daily life and activities? Is it good to drive? How easy is it to drive? You need to consider how every feature of the car fits. How easy is it to clean? Is it fun to drive? Do you have messy kids? Is cleaning up after them with the car easy to do? 

Think about how easy or difficult it will be to use, manage, and maintain the car before purchase, and keep this in mind.

In conclusion, choosing the perfect family car is a crucial decision that requires careful consideration of various factors. From practicality and safety to budget and reliability, there are many aspects to weigh when selecting the ideal vehicle for your family. Follow our tips to get one of the best family cars in the UK.

If you prefer to check out used cars for sale, make sure you get a registration number check and a car history report. Use our tool and make the right decisions today.

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